Based out of Calgary, Alberta, Les Truffes au Chocolat is including the co-branding of Meg-3 in its entire O Trois line of chocolate bars and chocolate fingers. While the functional properties of chocolate itself have been increasingly touted in the functional food industry, fortifying chocolate treats with fish oil could break new ground. All of the chocolate sold by Les Truffes is organic - Ralph Buchmuller, president of Les Truffes and Master Chocolatier, told NutraIngredients-USA - and the next logical step was to make them value-added. "They are more conscious of quality and health," Buchmuller said of North American consumers. "The consumption of high end chocolate is on the rise." Consumers who go for fine chocolate also tend to look for healthier products, according to Buchmuller, and so there is a link joining the two driving values. Thanks to its patented Powder-loc micro-encapsulation technology, Ocean Nutrition has been adding its branded omega-3 powders to a wider range of mainstream food products through numerous agreements with manufacturers. Buchmuller approached Ocean Nutrition himself after he heard about the micro-encapsulation technology. "Three years ago I started to do something with fish oil, but gave up because it didn't work with chocolate," said Buchmuller. "There was no solution." However, Buchmuller says with Meg-3 there is no difference in taste, shelf life or consistency of the chocolate. While the company will use the word 'omega-3' three on labels and co-brand with Ocean Nutrition's Meg-3 logo, it does not plan to make use of any health claims because of the different regulatory environment in Canada. The company has three stores in Calgary, but distributes to retailers in the provinces of Albert and British Colombia. It is also in discussion with a high end organic distributor in California for the new O Trois bars. Meg-3 contains the omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (or eicosapentaenoic acid). Studies have linked an adequate consumption of DHA to the promotion of brain, eye and heart health, while EPA has been linked to anti-inflammatory benefits. Polyphenol-rich cocoa products have been associated in scientific research to preventing against a range of conditions including blood pressure, diarrhoea, and breast cancer, as well as decreasing the effects of aging on the brain.